SAIMA IBRAHIM (feedback@pgeconomist.com)
8 - 14, 2010

In every sacred book from the Bible, the Koran, to the Vedas, and other ancient scripts, the medicinal benefits of herbs are quoted.

Herbs have a variety of uses including culinary, medicinal, or in some cases even spiritual. Culinary and medicinal herbs differ because of their usage.

In medicinal or spiritual use any of the parts of the plant might be considered herbs including leaves, roots, flowers, seeds, resin, root bark, inner bark (cambium), berries and sometimes the pericarp or other portions of the plant.

Herbalism is a traditional medicinal or folk medicine practice based on the use of plants and plant extracts. Herbalism is also known as botanical medicine, medicinal botany, medical herbalism, herbal medicine, herbology, and phytotherapy.

World over, researches focus on various herbs and traditional medicines to find out refined cures for illness and diseases.


Beetroot is used traditionally as a blood building food. It has liver, spleen, gall bladder, and kidney cleansing properties. Beetroot is particularly rich in vitamin C, calcium, phosphorus, and iron. The iron contained in beetroot is organic and non-irritating and does not cause constipation. Beetroot is useful in acidosis due to it being rich in alkaline elements.

Carrot contains large quantities of vitamin A, in the form of beta-carotene. Carrot juice has anti-carcinogen properties. It helps prevent cancer. It is also good for the skin. Carrot juice is like a tonic. It will improve the overall health and increase immunity. In fact, two glasses of carrot juice a day can increase your immunity by as much as 70%.

Apple is a highly nutritive food. It contains minerals and vitamins in abundance. Iron contained in the apple helps in formation of blood. Apple is useful in kidney stone. Raw apple is good for relief from constipation. Cooked or baked apple is good for diarrhea. It is of special value for heart patients. It is rich in potassium and phosphorus but low in sodium. It is also useful for patients of high blood pressure.

Banana is a complete balanced diet when combined with milk. It is known for promoting healthy digestion. The banana is used as a dietary food against intestinal disorders because of its soft texture and blandness. It is the only raw fruit, which can be eaten without distress in chronic ulcer cases. It neutralizes the over-acidity of the gastric juices and reduces the irritation of the ulcer by coating the lining of the stomach.

Cucumber, a beautician's secret, is excellent for facial skin. It also promotes the growth of healthy hair and nails. Of course, it performs wonders on baggy eyes and dark circles. It contains vitamins like B and C, and minerals like calcium, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus.

White tea popularity is still in its early stage although it has been produced for over one thousand years (first in China). Early research showed its promising effects as anti-virus/anti-bacteria, and protective shield against skin cell damage and colon cancer.

Cinnamon spice: The aromatic scent of cinnamon is powerful because it makes many people feel warm and fuzzy. The health benefits of cinnamon have taken the backseat in favor of its spice properties. Many health experts claim that a dash of cinnamon can be a way to add flavor to many dishes and at the same time improve one's health in many ways.

Emu oil has been proven through scientific studies for its healing property of pain and inflammation caused by arthritis and many other ailments.

Red yeast rice has been an ancient Asian dietary staple. It is made by fermenting white rice with the red yeast (Monascus Purpureus). The low cholesterol levels found in the Chinese population led to discovering the benefits of red yeast rice consumption.

Ginseng is a slow growing herb, which consists of a light colored root, a single stalk and long oval green leaves. Ginseng contains complex carbohydrates called saponins or ginsengsines. It possesses anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-cancer elements.

Capsicum: Alternative medicine practitioners are realizing that healing herbs should be part of their arsenal against diseases. The newest touted natural herb is Capsicum, found in cayenne pepper. It has many benefits whether taken internally or externally.

Lavender oil (Lavandula angustifolia) is recognised for its healing properties since ancient times, and it has been used traditionally to treat many disorders.